The Conjuring

I'm not really sure what they conjured.
"Based on the true case files of the Warrens"

Welcome to Halloween everyone! As promised, I will continue my reign of terror, or rather terror will continue to reign over us all, with my last horror post for a little while, I hope, because I am sick of watching horror movies (I'm not that super into them to begin with so I definitely need a break). Today I will be talking about The Conjuring, which was BASED ON TRUE EVENTS AND HAPPENED NEAR WHERE I LIVE WOOOOOOooOOOOoooOO (Well it's a ways away in Rhode Island, but it's less than an hour from my hometown. Also the real life Warrens, who I will say mean things about in a little while, have their home/occult museum in Moroe, CT, which I'm also pretty close to). As always I will open by exploring the "based on a true story" angle of the movie, and move on from there. I'm not saying oh yeah this totally happened (especially considering the by most accounts totally bogus Amityville Horror case, which was also first investigated by the Warrens). So how much of this is based on things that were at least reported to have happened? Well the details evidently are very different, but the basic premise is based on reported events. The Perrons are a real family, they really lived in a house in Harrisville, and they reported a lot of paranormal stuff happening to them in the farmhouse where they lived for some 10 odd years. The Warrens really did pop up one day, and they performed a seance (not an exorcism) that by all accounts of present parties went completely fuckballs. The Warrens and Perrons in real life did not part on super terms, reportedly the Warrens being around just made stuff worse. Andrea Perron, the oldest daughter, has written two books on her experiences and has a third planned. The details of the haunting are substantially different than the movie, but unlike my reading into The Amityville Horror, there's no obvious confession that it's entirely made up. So there that is.

Don't look into spooky music boxes.
The movie itself follows the Perrons, Carolyn (Lily Taylor, who was also haunted in Hill House in The Haunting in 1999) and Roger (Ron Livingston, more recently found cheating on Olivia Wilde with Anna Kendrick over here) and their five daughters as they move into a new home in Harrisville, Rhode Island. At first things are okay, but they quickly go to shit, as the family learns that the old farmhouse is super duper fucking haunted. They call in the famous Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, who was also in the similar but totally made up Insidious, and Vera Farmiga, who as I mentioned has a much younger sister currently on American Horror Story) to try and help them with the spooky proceedings. What they discover is that the ghost of a witch, Bathsheba, who sacrificed a child to Satan so she could curse anyone who lived on her land after her (the real life Bathsheba was indeed tried for the suspected murder of an infant in her care, and accused of being a witch. Due to technical mishandling she avoided conviction). In addition, the ghosts of previous victims of her curse still haunt the farm. A whole lot of them. See the parallel with Insidious now?

Why didn't I take this class in college.
After a whole lot of spooky things in the night, pets being murdered, bad smells, and having their legs pulled on in bed, things start getting really serious (especially after the Warrens show up, and that at least is consistent with real life reports, apparently even ghosts can't stand them) and Lorraine becomes convinced that Bathsheba's ghost serial killer MO is to possess mothers of children and then make them kill their children, because that was her favorite pastime in life. Carolyn Perron is indeed possessed, and Ed Warren is forced to perform an exorcism even though he isn't a priest, and has only ever assisted with them in the past. This goes... well you can watch the movie, it isn't a really awesome experience that is for certain. Going on in the meantime, the daughter of Ed and Lorraine is menaced by a doll from their occult museum, the spirit of a girl named Annabelle trapped in a terrifyingly creepy doll (in real life, the Annabelle doll was a Raggedy Anne).

Good thing that shotgun is unattended in the corner!
How does it all turn out? Well I don't want to ruin that for you, but as you might guess from my explanations of accounts given by people who were there everyone doesn't die. Lorraine Warren was actually consulted for the making of the movie, and makes a cameo appearance in part of it (I actually missed it when I was watching and had to look up a clip later). Whether you believe the story of what happened or not, this movie was a very well done haunting-style horror movie. The house that they used (a built reproduction in... I want to say North Carolina) was super creepy, though it was so run down that at times you'd wonder how a person wouldn't die in the place, playing hide and seek with their eyes covered as the walls practically fall down around them. The discovered basement (which in real accounts of the house was apparently a place no one went as a rule because it was too spooky) was an appropriately creepy place for the climactic exorcism scene. The scenes with the Warrens' daughter and the Annabelle doll I felt were sort of distracting from the main plot and adversely affected the pacing, but they also added a bit more drama so I'm not sure that it was bad or good that they were included in the plot.

Ewwww deadfoot!
I liked this movie because it had a lot of classic, 70s style horror things going for it, without coming off as being especially campy or like it was trying to be too gritty or edgy. It struck a nice middle ground between campy garbage horror and disgusting gorror. It also resisted the urge all horror movies and 5 year olds feel, to attempt to make you go AH with lame and cheap jump scares (which is just the most pathetically juvenile thing a horror movie can do as far as I'm concerned). The soundtrack gets a little overbearing at times, but I think that was part of the 70s movie compromise. Also the movie had the girl who was Bella and Edwards creepy CG daughter in Twilight, so that is a thing I guess. Not really. Watch The Conjuring is the point. It was good, and you will probably enjoy it.

That's it for today! I hope everyone has a super spooky Halloween full of Rob Zombie songs and guys in masks murdering them while they're trying to have sex and then that guy getting killed by The Crow who will then play guitar in his really wussy band and it'll just be a swell time all around. I should mention that last time this year my site exploded with hits, because everyone decided to search for The Crow, and I found that HILARIOUS.

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